Widespread media leaks of alleged police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) interrogation transcripts that contain apparent confessions by suspected Jewish terrorist Ya'acov Teitel are prejudicing the course of justice, Teitel's new defense attorney told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
A number of Hebrew newspapers carried extensive articles on Thursday with long quotes from the transcripts of interrogation sessions in which Teitel, an Israeli-American settler, confesses to plotting a series of bombings attacks against a Jerusalem gay bar and the Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, among others.
Teitel is accused of murdering two Palestinians, and attempting to murder a left-wing professor and the family of a Christian missionary with bombs. He is also accused of bombing police targets, and attempting to set fire to a monastery.
"I view this as a severe development," said attorney Saul Ezra, a public defender who recently replaced Teitel's former attorney, Adi Keidar.
"I don't know who leaked these documents, but a judge can open the Yediot or Ma'ariv newspapers today, and be influenced by what he reads," Ezra said.
Keidar did not reply to requests to reach him for a comment on Thursday.
Teitel appeared at a Petah Tikva court on Thursday for a remand hearing, smiling and flashing his characteristic V-sign to press photographers.
"I have not yet received the case material, and cannot therefore respond to the prosecution's claims. Hence I asked the court not accept the prosecution's request that Teitel be remanded until the end of proceedings," Ezra said.
The court accepted Ezra's argument, extending Teitel's custody until January 19, when another remand hearing is scheduled.
"I want to clarify that I myself carried out the bombings and the leafletting, without help from anyone, and I take full responsibility," Teitel told his interrogators, according to the leaked documents published on Thursday.
Teitel had planned on firing an "improvised mortar" at the Aksa Mosque, according to reports, but said he aborted the plot when he saw that Jewish worshipers could be injured.
He also planned to fly a remote-controlled plane containing explosives into a gay pride march in Jerusalem, according to the reports, and to target the Shushan 8 gay bar in the capital with a bomb.